Mathieu van der Poel: "It's so hard to win a Monument that it doesn't really matter which one you win"

Being an incredibly talented rider in more than one discipline is a luxury in pro cycling, however sometimes it comes with a lot of responsibility. Mathieu van der Poel is currently aiming at big victories in both road cycling and cyclocross, and has talked about the monuments specifically in a recent interview.

“It is not that Roubaix is more important than Flanders this year. I would be very happy to win another Flanders. It's so hard to win a Monument that it doesn't really matter which one you win," van der Poel said in an interview with

The Dutchman is a two-time winner of the Tour des Flandres and will aim for a third triumph this spring. “I feel a strong pain in my legs at the end," he describes the Belgian monument. "They are special events, you have to know the races, you have to know how to read them, positioning is super important and tactics are part of the game. That's what makes them super exciting.”

Alongside that, Milano-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix are both very real targets for the Alpecin-Deceuninck rider. He's been close to winning both, but in these days the very best in cycling come out to race in their best form and so far the Dutchman hasn't been able to take a title.

Lately there have been concerns over his back and how it could affect his spring. He's shrugged off real worries, stating that “when I go easy on the road I feel good." In Koksijde and Zonhoven, two heavy sand courses, he's struggled with back pain, reminiscing of last year's problems.

"Today we did some lactate tests, I had to go deep and I'm not 100% yet, but I'm better because of the treatment I've been doing. On the road it is obviously better than in cyclo-cross which is more intense for the back and I hope to be able to ride as I usually ride," he continued.

Before he eyes the monuments however, van der Poel has his sights in the cyclocross World Championships. There, he will inevitably have to face and beat Wout van Aert if he is to take the rainbow jersey.

“I really wanted to do cyclo-cross again because the year before, due to my back injury, I only did one and a half races. It was something I wanted a lot, to return to cyclo-cross. Of course. The races are so far apart that it's possible to win both. I'm sure it's possible," van der Poel concluded.

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